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Brain Injuries And Legal Liability
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Who Bears Legal Liability for Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries are devastating to one’s health, enjoyment of life and finances. When someone else’s negligence caused the injury, they are liable for its costs.
There are many different causes of brain injuries: About half are from auto accidents, but what is referred to as TBIs – traumatic brain injuries – can come from simple slip-and-fall accidents, industrial or workplace mishaps, violent impacts in sports and recreation, and criminal acts such as a blow to the head or a bullet wound. A brain injury usually follows an impact to the head, but severe shaking of the body can also damage brain tissue.
What individuals with TBI share are disabilities that can affect them the remainder of their lives. In addition to severely reduced or eliminated lifetime earnings, the individual suffering a brain injury will experience medical costs, expenses related to therapy and caregiving, and pain and suffering.
Whenbrain injury is caused by someone else’s mistake, the injured individual should recover these losses through litigation.Consider these specific scenarios where the liability lies with another person’s mistake:
Negligent (including DUI) driving – As it happens in a large percentage of cases, an individual’s decision to drive recklessly or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can inflict catastrophic damage on others.
Poorly supervised athletics – Evidence mounts that amateur and professional sports can cause meaningful brain damage over time. But bad coaching, negligent oversight of athletic facilities or faulty equipment can cause immediate and serious brain injury.
Medical error – For example, “off label” use of Botox as encouraged by its manufacturer has been found responsible for a severe brain injury suffered by a Virginia man.The jury awarded him $12 million, in part to cover his 24-7 care.
The work of the brain injury lawyer is to identify the cause of the injury and who bears liability for that cause. A simple slip-and-fall on a stairway at home is usually the misstep of the victim. But if negligent hospital treatment of that individual is found to have worsened the effect of the fall – perhaps when a decompressivecraniectomy is mistakenly used –some liability can fall on the healthcare provider.
A personal injury attorney with brain injury experience can guide the injured and his or her family through the process of determining lifetime costs and the lawsuit itself. Expert counsel is almost always required in such cases.
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